Friday, November 16, 2012

Eating Difficult Foods: Artichokes and Spare Ribs

Continuing from last week's blog on eating difficult foods, this week let's focus on artichokes and spare ribs!

Artichokes are a fantastic multipurpose food. You can serve them hot with some melted lemon butter; you can serve them cold with a little vinaigrette; or you can buy artichoke hearts in a can and use them in salads or delicious Italian dishes. The difficulty arises when we face an entire artichoke for the first time. Once we make the decision to give it a try, it is actually a very simple matter. The leaves peel off one or two at a time, and your teeth scrape off the tender meat about half way down to the bottom of the leaf. A little practice and you’re hooked. Once most of the leaves are neatly stacked along the side of your plate, you need to remove the prickly inedible choke. Simply insert a sharp knife at a downward angle rotating it around the top of the heart and lift it off and discard. The tender heart can then be eaten easily. To kick artichokes up a notch, serve them hot with Hollandaise sauce.

Barbequed spare ribs are best eaten outdoors at a picnic using your hands and lots or napkins or hand wipes. Occasionally we decide that eating ribs in February indoors by a crackling fire is just what we need. Ribs can be successfully eaten with a fork and knife. After most of the meat has been consumed, it is perfectly acceptable to pick up the bones, which are so finger lickin’ good. This is also true for lamb chops, but not for pork chops or chicken.

This kind of meal provides an opportunity to blend the centuries because what could come in handier than a good old finger bowl? If you do use a finger bowl, dip in the fingers of one hand a time, drying your fingers with your napkin with the minimum of movement. If you need to have a good hand wash, excuse yourself and go to the washroom to wash your hands thoroughly.

With a little practice these methods will quickly become second nature.